Freedom of Expression

Press Release R18/13







Washington, D.C., March 12, 2013 - The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of journalist Rodrigo Neto de Faria, host of the radio program Plantão Policial on the station Rádio Vanguarda and police beat reporter for the newspaper Vale do Aço, which occurred on Friday, March 8th in the city of Ipatinga, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Office of the Special Rapporteur expresses its concern and requests that the authorities conduct a prompt and diligent investigation to establish the motive of the crime, identify and appropriately punish the perpetrators.


According to the information received, in the early hours of Friday the 8th the journalist was attacked by two unknown persons who fired at least two shots at him. Neto was taken to a hospital where he later died. Reports indicate that the journalist had received several threats related to his reports on police corruption and crimes that had taken place in the area.


The ninth principle of the IACHR Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states: "The murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation."


The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression was created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to encourage the defense of the right to freedom of thought and expression in the hemisphere, given the fundamental role this right plays in consolidating and developing the democratic system.